Last night I dyed the second (and last) set of weft yarns for the doubleweave samples. It came out…interestingly. The skeins aren’t dry yet, and the colors will shift once again as they dry, but on preliminary examination they came out both darker and bluer than I had expected. I attribute it to the temperature and length of dyebath; normally I start it in hot water and it slowly cools over the course of the dyebath, but this time I kept it hot almost the entire time. I also left it in overnight rather than removing it from the dyebath after 1.5 hours, which may have deepened the shade.
At any rate, they are now dyed, and while they were not quite what I was expecting the colors are beautiful. I had planned to do it in varying shades of brown and navy, but on more sober thought realized that brown (which is really just a bluer orange) would clash terribly with the purple, fuchsia, orange, and turquoise warp yarns. So I did a selection of colors that will mostly clash with the orange, but which will go nicely with the fuchsia, turquoise, and purple.
I have also been meditating on my dye choices. I dye almost everything to a 2% depth-of-shade, which results in beautiful jewel colors in medium values. I also dye almost everything in rainbow shades (as opposed to taupes, olives, mauve, etc.). This may just be because I look good in medium values and rotten in pastels, and look better in strong colors as opposed to more subtle colors. But it might also be because nearly all my dye samples are at a 2% depth-of-shade, and that isn’t good. I’m contemplating making some more dye samples, this time at 1%, .5%, .25% DOS. However, no way am I going to do another 300-odd samples at each DOS. I’m thinking over how I can do this without it taking forever.
This is all inspired by some 60/2 silk I just bought from Colourmart. Normally I order strictly in white, but this time a friend “piggybacked” her order onto mine (I get a good discount because I buy in bulk), and she ordered some taupes, olives, brown, etc. I was looking at them thinking how gorgeous the colors were and how I almost never use anything that subtle (perhaps because it’s trickier to dye pastels than deep shades). And I thought, “Maybe I should buy some lighter colors.”
So I am thinking both about learning to dye my own paler shades and of buying others’ dye lots. Some of those colors sure are gorgeous!
A plug for Colourmart: they have fantastic yarn at excellent prices. They buy mill end yarns from some of the top luxury mills, and specialize in silk and cashmere – so, retail on their 60/2 silk is half the price of 60/2 silk elsewhere. And it’s top quality stuff. It’s practically all I work with anymore. (Admittedly, the cashmere is still not cheap on a grand scale, but it’s way cheaper than any other source of cashmere.)
I have now wound up three of the four warp colors and will be ready to try out my new warping wheel within a few days. I’m going to email my friend in Berkeley to see if she can come over and help me out for the first time – not just the first time using the warping wheel but also my first attempt at warping sectionally. It should be fun!
I have also bought 800 heddles for the AVL and will be putting them on later this week. Tonight or tomorrow I will be painting them (per Bonnie’s recommendation) to help differentiate them from each other – then they will have to dry, which I imagine will take a day or two.
So, all in all, it’s been a cheerfully productive couple of days, but it’ll be a few more days before I can start winding the warp for the doubleweave.
On the job front, my interview yesterday went really well. I am cautiously optimistic about an offer on Monday. It’s a contract position, but with a firm that really interests me – and hopefully it will pan out into a permanent position. At the least it will give me some excellent resume fodder.
Sharon Alderman says
About painting your heddle… There is an easier way. I bought Jacquard brand pegment dyes from Dharma and dunked the heddles in it. I bought red, blue and yellow and dyed the 1st,5th, 9th, etc. heddles red, the next ones green (yelow plus blue) and the next blue. The fourth group of heddles were left undyed so that the order is red, green, blue, white, repeat all through the castle of my AVL.
Sharon Alderman says
(I wasn’t quite finished)
I found that most other dyes faded in time and if you think it is a hassle to dye new heddles, try taking heddles off a loom, washing them and then dyeing!